Stone Barn near Le Barroux, France

As I continue to work with oil paints I find that using large brushes and a small canvas forces me to be more impressionistic which is what I am striving for.

 Using lots of turpentine and transparent red oxide I block in the value shapes.

Using lots of turpentine and transparent red oxide I block in the value shapes.

 Working from dark to light I block in colors following the value scheme.

Working from dark to light I block in colors following the value scheme.

 Working on the stone barn which is my center of interest.

Working on the stone barn which is my center of interest.

 Suggesting buildings in the distance.

Suggesting buildings in the distance.

 Last details added to the trees in the mid-ground.  I may glaze over the distant stone buildings later to soften edges and cool the colors so they will recede into the distance.

Last details added to the trees in the mid-ground. I may glaze over the distant stone buildings later to soften edges and cool the colors so they will recede into the distance.

Carrie Blake Lilies

Many years ago I took photos of the lily pads at our local Sequim pond.  I have tried painting this scene several times over the years and just could not create the painting I wanted.  Finally I realized I needed to take a smaller bite and crop the reference image until it had just a few major dark and light shapes.  I cut 1/4" foam core and 400 grit UART paper to the size of an existing frame.  I mounted the UART sanded paper to the board, drew in the rough lily shapes with charcoal and then slathered on dark neutralized watercolors.

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Winter trees near Blynn

 A quick value sketch just 2" x 3" to check the design.

A quick value sketch just 2" x 3" to check the design.

 A very loose sketch on my 12" x 16" cold pressed Arches 140# watercolor paper

A very loose sketch on my 12" x 16" cold pressed Arches 140# watercolor paper

 Super loose washes of medium and dark values

Super loose washes of medium and dark values

 Placing the darkest pastel values shapes

Placing the darkest pastel values shapes

 Finished up with small details and light sparkles

Finished up with small details and light sparkles

Electric Trees

Another example of pastel over watercolor; a pencil sketch on 300# Arches watercolor paper.

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 Dark, neutralized watercolor passes.  I lay in the darkest values I see in each shape.

Dark, neutralized watercolor passes.  I lay in the darkest values I see in each shape.

 Here I lay in the medium pastel values I see in each major shape.

Here I lay in the medium pastel values I see in each major shape.

 Finally I lay in the lightest value details with pastels.

Finally I lay in the lightest value details with pastels.

Salmon Cascade on Sol Duc River

I used a full sheet of Arches 300# watercolor paper measuring 22" x 30"

 I enlarged the sketch onto the watercolor paper.

I enlarged the sketch onto the watercolor paper.

 The watercolor underpainting is quickly applied on the wet paper with a large brush in a loose manner,  wet in wet washes of dark values and drab colors.

The watercolor underpainting is quickly applied on the wet paper with a large brush in a loose manner,  wet in wet washes of dark values and drab colors.

 I use soft pastel to locate some of the darkest darks.

I use soft pastel to locate some of the darkest darks.

 adding more detail with the soft pastels, ensuring that the marks help pull the viewer's eye through the painting.

adding more detail with the soft pastels, ensuring that the marks help pull the viewer's eye through the painting.

 The last sparkles and small details have been added so I sign the piece.

The last sparkles and small details have been added so I sign the piece.

Sunset on Maple View Lane

This view is right across the street from my home - I am so lucky to live here in sunny Sequim, WA!

 I lightly drew in the simple shapes.

I lightly drew in the simple shapes.

 I used dark, neutralized washes for the loose watercolor underpainting.

I used dark, neutralized washes for the loose watercolor underpainting.

 I began stroking mid and light value pastels over the watercolor.  My goal was to make each area rich in colors.

I began stroking mid and light value pastels over the watercolor.  My goal was to make each area rich in colors.

 I added more mid and light values to further define the scene.

I added more mid and light values to further define the scene.

 At last I "turned on the lights" when I added the lightest values and the small details.  After this photo was taken I adjusted some of the shapes in the mountains and toned down the foreground on the left.  My collector was very happy with the painting and has comissioned another!

At last I "turned on the lights" when I added the lightest values and the small details.  After this photo was taken I adjusted some of the shapes in the mountains and toned down the foreground on the left.  My collector was very happy with the painting and has comissioned another!